Across the River Mur from the Altstadt is a new modern-art museum nicknamed the "Friendly Alien"—and indeed, it does look like an alien ship landed smack in the middle of the town's medieval orange-tile, gabled roofs. Designed by London-based architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, with the aim of forging an interaction between the traditional landmarks of Graz and the avant-garde, it resembles a gigantic, blue, beached whale with spiky tentacles—which light up at
night. Inside, the vast exhibition rooms are linked by escalators and spiraling walkways, with an open arena at the top offering spectacular views. There is no permanent collection here, only temporary exhibits of renowned modern artists. Check out the gift shop on the ground floor.